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Four Tennessee Vols Set for NBA Christmas Day Action

Tennessee NBA Christmas
Former Tennessee and current Dallas Mavericks forward Grant Williams. Photo via Grant Williams (@GrantWill2) on Instagram.

Four former Tennessee basketball players across three teams are set for NBA Christmas Day action on Monday, December 25.

One game will even feature a head-to-head matchup for former Tennessee players.

The Miami Heat will host the Philadelphia 76ers at 8:00 p.m. ET on Christmas Day. The Heat have VFL Josh Richardson while the 76ers have a pair of one-and-done Tennessee players in Tobias Harris and Jaden Springer.

Richardson, back with the Heat after stints with five different teams from 2019 to 2023, is averaging 27.5 minutes per game across eight games in the month of December. The 6-foot-5 shooting guard is averaging a crisp 10 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game throughout the 2023-2024 season.

Tobias Harris is averaging the third-most points per game for the Philadelphia 76ers this season at 16.6 points. Harris is also averaging 6.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game this season while shooting just over 50 percent (51.3%) from the floor. The former Vol is coming off of a massive 33-point game against the Toronto Raptors in the Sixers’ last contest on Friday night.

Though he is still working to find routine playing time, Jaden Springer, a first-round draft pick out of Tennessee in the 2021 NBA Draft, is having his best statistical season of his career in 2023. Springer has played in 17 games already this year, passing his previous season-high in games played (16) from the 2022-2023 season.

Springer is averaging 3.6 points, 1.5 rebounds, and 1.0 assists in 10 minutes of court time per game so far this season.

“I think with that attitude and that discipline of sacrificing his time away from his play, his time away from his personal agenda, putting it all to the team, putting it all to basketball, nothing but good stuff happens from that,” Patrick Beverly said of Springer via Sixers Wire. “If it was one thing I’m impressed by, it’s the sacrifice to this team.”

The 76ers and Heat will square off at 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN Monday night.

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And, lastly, Grant Williams and the Dallas Mavericks will take on the Phoenix Suns in the desert in the ESPN nightcap at 10:30 p.m. ET.

In his first season in Dallas, Williams is averaging 9.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game through the Mavericks’ first 29 contests, though he did miss a quick stretch of games with knee soreness in early December. Williams is averaging the second-best three-point shooting percentage of his career so far this season at 39.9 percent. The former Tennessee legend has started all 26 games that he has played in for the Mavericks this season.

Here’s a look at Tennessee’s NBA Christmas Day matchups:

76ers at Heat

  • 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN
  • Sixers: Tobias Harris & Jaden Springer
  • Heat: Josh Richardson


Mavericks at Suns

  • 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
  • Mavericks: Grant Williams

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